What it is: A disease caused by a virus that gives people swollen salivary glands, a fever, headache, and muscle aches. It also makes you feel tired and curbs your appetite.
How you get it: When someone with mumps coughs or sneezes, the virus gets into the air, and other people can breathe it in.
Why it’s serious: It can lead to meningitis and cause long-lasting health problems, including deafness and sterility in men. Mumps is now rare in the U.S., thanks to the MMR (measles-mumps-rubella) vaccine. But outbreaks still happen, usually among people spending time close together, like living in a dorm.